A mushroom look, yes, but a protected mushroom. The NFL has asked players in training camp to install “the keeper” on their helmets. It is a kind of block of foam that provides additional protection against shocks. The goal? Decrease the increasing number of concussions during this period. During matches, however, this additional protection will be absent.
Voices are raised on both sides. In addition to the aesthetic side – which ultimately does not weigh much against the dangerousness of repeated shocks to the head – the practical side questions. According to ‘The Athletic’, Jets coach Robert Saleh fears greater physical commitment from players. “I think the reduced impact will push players to use their heads more,” he said.
The players interviewed by various American media generally laugh at the look that “the goalkeeper” gives them. Many welcome the initiative and appreciate the reduced impact.